*Can I just preface this post with saying that neither Adam or I can believe that we took barely any photos today. I'm hoping that the family managed to get some good ones I can pinch later, as Stella looked oh so cute in her Christmas skirt I made her*
Stella woke around 3:30am mumbling something about biscuits and Santa, then drifted back off until about 6:30am when she came into our bed for a chat. She chatted on and on about Santa and biscuits and presents. Adam tried his best to convince her to go downstairs to check if Santa had been, but she was certain that she had not yet heard reindeer's on the roof so there is no way that Santa could have been yet.
Eventually Adam offered to go down with her to see, and a little voice from the other room piped up with 'Can I come down too'. This was it, the kids were both up and we were ready to rock and roll.
They got lots of little gifts from us as we knew we were going to have to take it all home with us, (as well as all the shopping I may have already done here and we haven't even been to Paris yet). Stella was rather taken with her Tinkerbell doll but the hands down winner of the morning were their Zhu Zhu pets. I have never really seen the appeal of these before, but watching them scoot around the house, crashing into stuff before backing up and racing off in the opposite direction and the accompanied squeals of laughter from the kids, I now get it.
Asking the kids to get naked for a shower/bath wasn't a big deal, as it rarely is. Asking them to get dressed so that we could go out for lunch however, was rather traumatic. Finally after some pretty intense meltdowns, everyone had clothes on and we headed out the door to a pub lunch.
Grandma & Grandad were very restrained in their Christmas gifts for the kids, knowing we had limited space to bring things home. Stella got a my little pony and Xavier some new matchbox cars (I do hear rumours however, there are more gifts at home for them though). Uncle David & Aunty Teresa were also rather restrained with a skirt and top and a lipgloss/nail polish kit for Stella and this awesome glow drawing board thingy and a dinosaur quicksand kit for Xavier. Aunty Sarah however, went a bit nuts. Luckily for her she had prearranged with Grandma & Grandad to take some of the presents she had for the kids back with them, meaning that we may just get away without having to pay excess baggage to fit it all in.
The pub we had lunch at was on the river Thames so after lunch we collected up the bread we didn't eat and went out to let the kids feed the ducks. The Thames is a tidal river, which really doesn't mean that much to me, but I worked out quick smart what that meant yesterday. When the kids began feeding the ducks the water was about 5cm below the stone bank. within 10-15 minutes, the entire road between the river and pub was flooded and the locals confirmed that during a really high tide you actually get stuck in the pub waiting for the waters to recede. It was insane. I have never seen anything like it before. And this happens every day. I'm not taking slightly wet feet either, I'm taking knee high waters outside the pub. Still now, I cannot believe just how fast the water came up.
We were dropped home and the kids happily played with their toys (minus Stella's Zhu Zhu which she somehow left at the pub) while Adam and I got to tidying up and packing up all the things we didn't need to take to Paris with us. David is going to collect what we aren't taking tomorrow and store it at his house while we are away. We will collect it from him new years day before we fly home.
Later in the afternoon David, Teresa and Sarah dropped back in and hyped the kids up no end. We had to let them just wind down for a good hour before even considering bed once they left.
I burnt pizza we were planning for dinner, so I had leftover pasta from the night before and Adam had soup. We stayed up too late organising bags and waiting for clothes to wash so we could attempt to get them dry before David collects our bags tomorrow.